Everyday Mom's Meals

Sunday, October 13, 2019

The Easiest EVER

I have a lot of pasta recipes. A. LOT. I've told you before how we say Adam must have lived in Asia in his past life due to his love of their cuisine. If that's true, than I must have been residing in Rome, Venice and Tuscany in all of my past incarnations.

For the most part, the majority of my pasta dishes are baked in the oven. But every once in a while a terrific one will come to be for my slow cooker. Let's see, there is my Crock Pot Creamy Spaghetti, Slow Cooker Bolognese, Crock Pot Marinara and now this simple classic sauce too!

If you're looking for a classic tomato sauce, with just a little meat for your next spaghetti supper, this is it. The best part? You can turn it on in the morning, come home, boil some pasta and dinner is done. Okay, maybe cook some tasty garlic bread too!

I made it with ground beef because that's what I've got in the freezer, but it would be equally tasty with some Italian sausage. I will freely admit, I am not a huge red sauce fan, but this? I couldn't get enough. I had seconds the night I made it, and enjoyed the leftovers all week. We all did!

Save this one for an extra busy day when you know you'll be too exhausted to put much effort into dinner when you get home. You won't regret it!

Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce
1 lb. ground beef
 1 medium white onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
4 (8 oz.) cans tomato sauce
2 (6 oz.) cans tomato paste
2 TBS sugar 
2 c. water
2 cubes beef bouillon
1 TBS Italian seasoning
 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. dried parsley, extra for garnish
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. red pepper flake
Salt and Pepper 

Lightly grease slow cooker. In a large skillet brown beef with onion and garlic until no longer pink. Drain if necessary. Add to slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients. Stir well. Cook on LOW for 6 hours. Reduce heat to warm until serving. Stir well.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Welcome October

Apparently we blinked and September came and went. What a whirlwind! To welcome in a new month, the first "true" one of autumn, I thought a tasty warm beverage was the perfect way to usher it in.

We are big slow cooker drink lovers. From apple inspired ones in the fall to festive wassail at the holidays and warm hot cocoa on a cold winter's day, they are something I make a lot on the weekends when we are at home hanging out.

Seriously, what tastes better on a chilly day than a big mug of something warm and delicious to soothe your soul? Not to mention most of the time, whatever you've got warming in that slow cooker makes the house smell AH mazing!

Got a long day of raking ahead of you? Come inside to this. Visiting the local pumpkin patch or corn maze? Have this waiting on you when you get home. Having some people over for a big bonfire? This will stay warm all night long!

It would taste just as delicious with apple cider, maybe even more so, but I had juice on hand. (Not to mention, sometimes apple cider is just too darn expensive! Seriously! It can be a tad ridiculous!)

This is one of those drinks that will take you through October, would be great on Halloween night, and terrific for those turkey day guests coming quicker than you think!

We still might have some warm sunny days left, but they are definitely getting fewer and farther between, so when the rain drops are puddling, the leaves are falling and that crisp autumn wind is blowing, a mug of this is certain to warm you from the inside! 

Warm Autumn Apple Punch
4 c. apple juice
1 can frozen orange juice, thawed
2 cinnamon sticks
3/4 tsp. ground ginger
3/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. ground cloves

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Stir well to combine, whisk if needed. Cook on LOW 4 hours. Keep on warm and serve all day!

Shared at Weekend Potluck
Shared at Meal Plan Monday

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Dump, Stir and Go!

It's officially autumn. The days are getting shorter and shorter. With day light I mean. But let's face it, the days are always short, no matter what season. I don't know about you, but I think there should be some kind of "buy back" program for hours in the day.

Here's how it would work. For every hour we don't use one day, we get to "bank" it for a day when we need more! That way when it's a random Thursday and we have a bazillion things to do...and before we know it, the clock says 6pm, we can go to the bank and get an extra hour. Genius, right?

Alas, I don't see this happening any time soon, so we need to find other ways to free up some of our minutes and hours. And in the kitchen our slow cookers can do just that!

This chunky, hearty delicious stew can be prepped in the morning, cook all day and be waiting on you when you get home. But you say your mornings are super busy too? Well, about 10 minutes is all you need to brown the sausage and onions, dump the rest of the ingredients, stir and be done! In fact, you could even saute' the sausage and onions the night before, stick them in the fridge and have one less step the next morning. Oh, and those hash browns that need partially thawed? They take almost no time at all, and the ones I used were only thawed about 20 minutes before I dumped them in. So those won't hang you up either.

Talk about an all in one meal! You've got your meat, potatoes and veggies all in one bowl! Okay, I guess corn isn't technically a veggie, but I think most of us think of it that way.

Fall is such a beautiful time, with so many reasons to be busy. From the ordinary day, to the special ones spent at the corn maze, pumpkin patch or apple orchard, make sure you have some great simple recipes to make just one thing a little easier on you!

Crock Pot Sausage & Corn Chowder
1 (14 oz.) package smoke sausage, sliced thin
2 small carrots, diced
1 medium white onion, chopped
2 TBS butter
1 lb. frozen shredded frozen hash brown potatoes, partially thawed
2 (15 oz.) cans corn, undrained
2  (15 oz.) cans cream corn
1 (14 oz.) can chicken broth
2 (12 oz.) cans evaporated milk
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. lemon pepper seasoning
1 TBS dried parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste
In a large skillet over medium heat melt butter. Saute' sausage until slightly browned. Transfer to Crock Pot.  In same skillet, in leftover butter and sausage drippings, saute' onion for 1-2 minutes.You are just getting a little color on them. Transfer to Crock Pot. Add all other ingredients. Stir very well. Cook on LOW 6 hours.

Shared at Weekend Potluck
Shared at Meal Plan Monday

Inspired by Recipes That Crock

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Hello Fall

If you aren't paying attention, we have arrived at the first day of fall. Sure, some of us have had our autumn decor out since the calendar still said August (*cough cough*...I might resemble that remark) but it's official. Now our husbands can't make fun of our pumpkins and scarecrows anymore.

Autumn brings so many reasons to "party". Between bonfires, those last few warm evening cookouts, Halloween parties, Game Day...the list goes on and on! And if you don't have a reason to party, make one! There are days when we are outside raking or doing jobs around the house, and I have a big pot of chili or soup cooking, plus some snacks for motivation too! So you can't make it to the stadium to tailgate for your favorite team. Have a football day at home in your living room!

My point is a delicious party mix can be appreciated for so many reasons this time of year. This would be great for an after school snack, kids' Halloween party or classroom party (if home made is allowed).

We love Chex Mix, or more specifically Adam's late grandma's Chex Mix recipe. I make it a lot. It's the perfect salty snack. But this time I wanted something a little sweet, and of course autumn inspired.

Oh. My. Gosh. As Alex said, "This stuff is dangerous!" Talk about addicting! We couldn't stay out of it! Sweet, salty...mmmmm. We have a couple days trips planned for this fall, and I think I will make sure we have a bag of this for the car too!

Fall might not be my favorite season, but I do enjoy it and all the fun activities it brings. Add in some yummy snacks and it's a party any day of the week!

Harvest Party Mix
1 (12 oz.) box rice cereal, like Chex
4 c. pretzel twists
1 (7 oz.) bag original Bugles
2 ( 4 oz.) boxes Reece's pieces
2 ( 9 oz.) bags autumn candy mix
3/4 c. margarine, melted
3/4 c. brown sugar, packed
2 TBS vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 275. In a medium bowl whisk together margarine, brown sugar and vanilla until combined. In a very large bowl combine cereal, pretzels and Bugles. Pour sauce over mix. Stir gently, but well. Spread evenly on a baking sheet* and bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 until crisp and brown. Remove and allow to cool. Add candy and stir well. Store in airtight container.  
*NOTE* You will either need to do this in batches, or use 2 cookie sheets at a time. 

Inspired by One Little Project

Sunday, September 15, 2019

My Baby Is 15

September 16, 2004 6:31 p.m. That is the exact moment my world became complete. My life changed forever. I was finally what I had always wanted to be. For in that moment, I became a mommy. From the second they placed Alexander Lee in my arms, he looked into my eyes, and I knew our love was one for the ages. He was my first, and every day since has been finding ways to fill me with happiness, make me laugh and burst with pride.

And now that 8 lb. 15 oz. 21.5 inch bouncing baby boy is a 6 foot tall, 15 year old Freshman in high school. Everyone says it, but I don't think you understand just how fast kids grow up until you are a parent. I heard once "At times the days might be long, but the years will always be short." I think that sums it up perfectly. I truly feel like I blinked and now he's just a few short years away from adulthood, leaving the nest and being on his own. But we aren't there yet, and I refuse to talk about it. Yes, denial is a wonderful thing.

But alas, he is indeed 15, and I couldn't let the day go by without sharing a recipe that was 100% made with him in mind. Like his dad, Alex has a true love for all Asian foods. So anytime I can make a take out quality dish at home, I score major points with them both.

If you've never had Korean food, take it from someone who waited way too long to try it,, if you enjoy other Asian cuisines, you will like Korean too!

This comes together in almost no time, so it's perfect for a busy weeknight! Seriously, you can have this on the table in less time than it would take to pick something up from the drive thru! I also love that it can be adapted to feed a few or a crowd easily!

There are days when I look at Alex and have trouble remembering when he was tiny. But then he smiles or giggles, and it's the same exact smile from that chubby cheeked baby; or the same laugh I would hear after that toddler would make up a silly joke. I have treasured the past 15 years, and know without a doubt he is only going to get more amazing as time goes on!

Korean Beef
2 lbs. ground beef
2/3 c. brown sugar, packed
1/2 c. soy sauce
6 large garlic cloves, minced
2 TBS sesame oil
 1 tsp. spicy Asian chili oil
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
Cooked White Rice
Chopped Green Onions

Brown beef over medium high heat. In a medium bowl, whisk together brown sugar, oils, garlic, ginger, and soy sauce. When beef is browned, drain fat if necessary. Add oil mixture and stir. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat. Cook for 5-10 minutes. Serve over cooked rice and garnish with green onions. *NOTE* If you can't find the chili oil, 1 tsp. red pepper flake can be substituted. 

Shared at Weekend Potluck
Shared at Meal Plan Monday